This 1969 recording was subtitled "Three Eras of Basie Recorded Live at the Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas," and that's what it is. This set features updated takes on the Basie songbook's greatest instrumental hits of the '30s, '40s, and '50s. Engineer Wally Heider set up the stereo mix to match the classic stage formation of the band, resulting in a potent sitting-in-front-of-the-band feeling for the listener. Besides Basie himself, featured soloists include trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, who reunited with the band for this occasion, tenor saxman Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and Eric Dixon on flute and tenor. Arranger Sammy Nestico has renovated several of these classics in subtle ways from their original studio recordings. The music is, of course, great, and the players respond to the excitement of the live audience.
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AllMusic Review by Jim Newsom